Deliciously easy to make, the best soup recipes are passed down through families and picked up from friends. It’s no surprise that here in Hong Kong our go-to favourites bring home an international flavour.
New Year sweet and sour soup
Bash the garlic, chillies and ginger in a pestle and mortar to form a rough paste. Fry the mushrooms in a large wok or heavy-based saucepan over a medium-high heat for four minutes. Stir in the chilli paste and bamboo shoots and fry for a further minute. Combine the soy, vinegar and honey. Stir the mixture into the pan and cook for a minute. Pour in the hot stock and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes, or until slightly reduced. Remove the soup from the heat. Slowly add the egg, stirring continuously to form thin ribbons. Stir in the tofu. Warm through before serving with spring onions and chives scattered on top.
Old English leek and potato soup
Trim off the tops and roots of the leeks, discarding the tough outer layer. Split them in half lengthwise and slice them finely. In a large, thick-based saucepan, gently melt the butter; then add the leeks, potatoes and onion. Stir the vegetables well to coat them in the butter. Season and cover. Sweat the vegetables on a low heat for 15 minutes. Add the stock and milk. Put the lid back on and simmer gently for 20 minutes until the vegetables are soft. Leave the soup to cool and then purée in a blender. Refrigerate this soup before serving and it becomes a delicious vichyssoise. Garnish (hot or cold) with chives and either precooked chicken chunks or a dollop of sour cream.
Classic Russian Borscht
Put the beetroot and red cabbage into a large saucepan. Stir in the tomato purée, vinegar, half the butter and the beef stock. Cover, bring to the boil and simmer gently for one hour. Melt the remaining butter and sauté the onions and carrots until golden. Add to the beetroot and red cabbage mixture. Cover and simmer gently for 15 minutes. Season to taste and add the brown sugar. Garnish with sour cream to serve.